It was their passion for training which motivated Nanthakumar G K (ex-NIFTian) and Ramesh Kumar L (Electronics and Communications engineer) to start their own consultancy services with just 7 years of experience in hand. And as passion pushes towards success, in the last four years of their journey as entrepreneurs, their company Skilift Consulting has had more than 50 projects in various apparel manufacturing facilities across the globe. More than half of these projects are long-term and beyond just training. Having a proven track record of improvement with their consulting services to several leading apparel manufacturers like Aditya Birla Group, CBC Fashions (Asia), Cotton Blossom (India), Kay Ventures, A Tex Home Collections and many more, the duo professionals are aggressively working during these unprecedented times to support the industry.
The company made a strategic tie-up with Honeywell Creations for digitising training materials, which proved very fruitful for the industry. Apparel Resources got in touch with the two, discussing various aspects of their company as well as Indian apparel manufacturing industry.
While opening the website of the company, a pop-up emerges in English and Tamil languages with details about coronavirus – key safety measures to be followed in garment factories, covering all their departments. Skilift Consulting is also offering a free consultation programme during COVID-19 to motivate companies to improve themselves without much extra cost. “We enjoy knowledge sharing, and improvements in factories give us satisfaction and motivate us to move more aggressively towards our vision of boosting manpower skills leading to better organisational efficiency,” Ramesh said.
To help the apparel producing units, the company offers free factory assessment so the factory management can know the areas of improvement from an expert point of view. The company has done tremendous improvements in various projects including areas like sewing production, efficiency, overall sewing line profit, rework and rejection, etc.
Skilift Consulting has collaborated with International Trade Centre (ITC) and United States Agency for International Development (USAID). It has successfully executed ramp-up of new factories with complete set of new workers in 6-9 months with more than 65 per cent efficiency and reduced CPM.
Having client retention rate of 74 per cent, which is further growing, Skilift Consulting boasts of expertise in overall training including middle-management training like IE, quality department to the training of trainers (for operators and non-operators’ training, etc.), existing factory re-engineering and setting up of new factory, cost per minute implementation, Quality Management System (QMS) programme and establishment of Performance Management System (PMS). Nanthakumar G K told Apparel Resources, “We were successful to reduce cost per minute (CPM) by 10 per cent to 25 per cent in our projects. Our strength is our training methodology which is further backed by strong monitoring and full transparency. To make sure all this is maintained, we use digital tools like our specific software. We believe in hand-holding and work accordingly.”
In India, apart from Tirupur, the company has done projects in Bangalore, Kerala and emerging hubs like Odisha. Thanks to the result-driven performance of its team members in India in the short span of 4 years, the company has got exposure of working in Ethiopia, Sri Lanka, Vietnam, Bangladesh, Central Asia, Eastern Europe, etc. Projects in various countries include training the trainers for efficiency improvement in a sophisticated manner. Moving forward, in future, the company is also expanding its horizons in North India and other parts of the country. Currently, it has 11 expert professionals in its team along with two external experts. In future, the company has plans to double its team size to achieve its goals. It also has collaborated with Paul Collyer, a renowned international consultant from the UK, and Devadas, an expert in organisation excellence.
Along with training in the factories, the company strongly believes in executing training through digital platforms. It is digitising the entire process and allied material for training. Its E-Skilift initiative is offering online training which is being preferred by the companies. Similarly, its YouTube channel is also a good source of practical knowledge, especially for middle-level management.
“Overall, our industry needs to focus on supply chain engagement, overall competitiveness and to improve efficiency as per global standards. Hope in this ‘new normal’, when many changes are taking place and improved efficiency can be a game-changer, more and more apparel manufacturers are coming forward to focus on the areas where they were lacking so far. We are always there to support them and to bring best practices in their overall working. Hope more companies will be serious now to improve their overall working,” Nanthakumar concluded.